Brilliant Barty into Wuhan semifinals
Ashleigh Barty has scored the biggest win of her career - and her third straight victory over a top-15 opponent - to reach the biggest semifinal of her career in Wuhan.
Ashleigh Barty has continued her giant-killing run in Wuhan, upsetting No.3 seed Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals.
The 21-year-old recorded a 4-6 7-6(3) 7-6(2) victory in a two hour, 31-minute battle.
It qualifies Barty for her first WTA Premier-level semifinal, where she will play either world No.1 Garbine Muguruza or French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
It’s her third semifinal of season 2017.
Barty’s career-best run has included three consecutive wins against a top 15-ranked opponent, having also beaten No.5 seed Johanna Konta and No.9 seed Agnieszka Radwanska earlier in the tournament.
After starting the tournament ranked No.37, Barty is projected to rise to a new career-high of No.26.
Barty squandered three match points when serving for victory in the 10th game of the final set but quickly put that disappointment behind her.
She dominated the tiebreaker and Pliskova double faulted to hand Barty the biggest scalp of her career.
“I’ve played Karolina a couple of times now, and it’s been very close every time,” Barty said in her on-court post-match interview.
“I’m happy to come through with the win today, I feel like we both played pretty good.”
Barty began the season ranked No.271 in the world.
“It’s been an amazing season, it really has,” Barty said. “I was very motivated and worked very hard last year to get back to where we are now.”
Pliskova was full of praise for her young Australian opponent.
“I think she played some good matches here, so she was feeling free. She was just going for her shots. I’m right now in different position than she is,” the world No.4 said.
“I think she has a very good forehand. She can use it cross-court forehand. Good serving. I didn’t have many chances on the serve. Even in the second serve is pretty good. I think she didn’t do any double-faults. If she did, then one. So I think just on the serve she’s solid.”